Peter Muntean, Man Critically Wounded in Anaheim Police Shooting, Dies

Behind the yellow tape (Photo by Gabriel San Roman)

UPDATE APR. 30, 8:25 A.M.: Peter Muntean, a man shot by Anaheim police two weeks ago, died on Friday afternoon. Family members made the difficult decision of ending all life support. A public records request by the Weekly revealed Bartman Horn and Brendan Thomas to be the two officers involved in the now fatal shooting. 

According to the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Horn previously served with the Pasadena Police Department before being hired in Anaheim. While on the Pasadena force, Horn shot 23-year-old Paris DeShawn Holloway in a controversial Oct. 11, 2013 incident that left the man permanently paralyzed. Holloway filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Horn claiming he’d been shot in the back after pitching his gun over a fence. The Los Angeles County District Attorney cleared the officer on the grounds that he fired in self-defense after Holloway pointed his gun at him. 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the civil suit to continue in a ruling last summer. The case is still pending in litigation and a trial is set for this December. Muntean’s death marks the second officer-involved killing to have occurred this year under the helm of interim Anaheim police chief Julian Harvey. 

UPDATE, APR. 14, 8:00 A.M.: Police identified the man wounded in yesterday’s officer-involved shooting as 24-year-old Petrica Peter Muntean. He remains in critical condition.

The department also released more details into the Thursday night incident that led officers to identify Muntean the following morning at a Carl’s Jr. parking lot. Around 8:30 p.m., police responded to a disturbance between Muntean and his mother inside a car around Lombard Drive and Brewster Avenue in the city. By the time they arrived on scene, Muntean fled on foot. He turned around at one point and put a handgun underneath his chin. Officers took cover about 25-30 yards away and ordered him to stop. Muntean ignored police commands, ran away and eluded them. 

When police encountered Muntean the following morning, he remained uncooperative and fled on foot once more. Officers used less-than-lethal munitions in trying to stop him until the chase ended up at 100 S. Seneca Circle where the shooting occurred. Police recovered a BB gun from the scene. 

The shooting is under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office to determine if any criminal charges against officers are warranted. We all know how that goes. See you back in a couple months for the OCDA press conference and body camera footage release. 

ORIGINAL POST, APR. 13, 11:23 A.M.: Anaheim police taped off an apartment complex alleyway where an officer-involved shooting happened this morning, leaving the suspect in critical condition. Around 7:10 a.m., police noticed a man at a Carl’s Jr. just down the street from department headquarters on Harbor Boulevard. They believed he had been involved in an unspecified incident from the night before. 

Officers attempted to contact him when the encounter led to the 100 block of South Seneca Circle near Anaheim High School. That’s where the police shooting occurred. An ambulance transported the suspect to a hospital for treatment. Earlier this morning, police described his state as unknown but have since updated information to note he’s in critical condition. “Officers did have body worn cameras active,” department spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt informs the Weekly

OC Hawk obtained footage that gave a closer look at the scene. It showed a parked Honda sedan with a bullet hole above the front passenger tire. A pool of blood gathered right below. Car keys, three cellphones, what OC Hawk is describing as a less-than-lethal police beanbag shotgun are also depicted. The department  states that a weapon was recovered from the scene, but Wyatt didn’t have information on whether the suspect was armed or not during the time of the police shooting. 

Anaheim High School isn’t in lock down, but the area of Citron Street remains blocked off while investigators with the department and the Orange County District Attorney’s office comb the scene for evidence.

Last year proved to be a quiet one for the department with no officer-involved shootings or fatal arrest encounters. But a little more than three months into 2018, Anaheim police have been involved in two on-duty shootings and the controversial in-custody death of Christopher Eisinger, 35-year-old homeless black man.


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